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Female urethroplasty: contemporary thinking

Abstract

Purpose

Female urethral stricture disease is a rare entity. To date, its diagnosis and treatment have been poorly studied, with small numbers, and variable definitions of success. With growing interest in this area of reconstructive urology, there is an increased number of surgical techniques. In this article, we review current trends, definitions, etiologies and surgical techniques available for management of FUSD.

Method

We completed a review of publications in: English; Pubmed, and Google scholar. Key words identified for review were, female urethra stricture, female urethroplasty and female urethral dilation, female pelvic fracture, and female urethral reconstruction. Papers were reviewed, and references of relevant papers reviewed.

Results

Iatrogenic injury is the most common cause of female urethral stricture disease. Assessment requires a thorough patient history, examination and either flexible cystoscopy and/or fluoroscopic urodynamics to determine the most appropriate surgical approach for stricture repair. Multiple open urethroplasty techniques are described with various grafts and flaps, with good medium-term success. Minimally invasive techniques remain well-employed but have poor long-term success, with increased failure with multiple attempts at treatment.

Conclusion

Female urethral stricture disease is a complex clinical entity that requires a measured and thorough evaluation. Individualized approach should be undertaken reviewing the patient’s symptoms, the stricture’s etiology, surrounding vaginal tissue health and stricture location. Promising medium-term success rates with vaginal flaps and buccal mucosal graft urethroplasty have been reported, with disappointing long-term results from repeated urethral dilation. Further research comparing techniques and defining successful long-term outcomes is required.

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Acknowledgements

Jacinta Townsend edited the manuscript.

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Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Contributions

CW and AL: Protocol/project development. CW and AL: Data collection or management. CW and AL: Data analysis. CW and AL: Manuscript writing/editing.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to A. Lawrence.

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The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

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Cite this article

West, C., Lawrence, A. Female urethroplasty: contemporary thinking. World J Urol 37, 619–629 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00345-018-2564-4

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00345-018-2564-4

Keywords

  • Female urethroplasty
  • Female urethral stricture
  • Female urethral dilation
  • Urethral stricture
  • Vaginal flaps
  • Buccal mucosal graft